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We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun. - Page 4 - Dhamma Wheel

We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
freefall68
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby freefall68 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:32 pm

If I am not mistaken, the word "renunciation" or "renounce" is being used here in place of Sanskrit word sannyasa. However, "renunciation" is nyasa -not sannyasa. sannyasa should more correctly be translated as "dropping away" rather than "renounce".

For example, a child is very attached to his marbles. Then one day his father asks him to give up playing marbles. So this child takes a vow to never touch the marbles again. But he has not lost the rasa of playing marbles. In this sense he is a "nyasin" toward marbles - not "sannyasin". However, when the same child grows up he completely loses his earlier attachment toward his marbles. Note that now he does not have to "renounce" his attachment for marbles. The attachment gets simply "dropped" because the pursuit has become irrelevant. In other words now the person is "sannyasin" as far as marbles are concerned.

The point is that the whole debate about the issue of renouncing because someone feels that he is missing out on fun is misplaced. As long as one feels that one is losing something in "renouncing", then it is no renunciation at all. Such renunciation has no value and it is better to renounce such renunciation. Sannyasa is a natural happening when worldly pursuits become irrelevant. It is not an act of will that one can choose or not choose.

Regards,

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Lazy_eye
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:43 pm

Hi:

Astus over at Dharma Wheel posted links to this series of talks by Bhikkhu Cinita on lay Buddhist practice. I found them very useful.

Bhikkhu Cinita ordained later in life after his children grew up, so he's seen the topic from both sides.












jackson
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby jackson » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:20 pm

Thanks for sharing lazy_eye! I've read the first two parts so far and am really enjoying it.
With gratitude and metta, :smile:
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah

Nori
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Nori » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:49 am

Hi,

Of course I can be wrong, but I think when it is time to go forth, one will know. It will not be some vague notion (to commence).

I think it can be detrimental to go forth before one is ripe.

I was considering it, and discussing this with a Thero monk in Sri Lanka, and I was expressing my doubts. He said, 'better to clear your doubts first'. And then, I was expressing the detrimental conditions of going back to society; he said. 'it is good, .. experience'.

I think in some sense, there is 'fate'. Not everyone has the opportunity to 'go forth' because of 'duty'. If one is unable to abandon their 'place' with a clear conscience, then maybe, it is not time to go; because once you have done damage to your 'spirit'/conscience, or stepped 'out of line', then that is a step in the wrong direction. In fact, it may be the case that by fulfilling 'duties', it lends one strength in the right path. (by 'duty', I mean something which cannot be abandoned with a clear conscience.)

With Metta,
Nori
Last edited by Nori on Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Nori
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Nori » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:03 am


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Bevoir
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Bevoir » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:20 pm

Hi

I've been reading through this thread, some interesting ideas here.

Has anyone considered that living in the world could be a good thing in terms of bringing up challenges that will promote spiritual growth and overcoming our karma in the world?

I can see that going to a monastery before getting to a peaceful state in every day life might be an escape from problems in your life. I can see how staying in the world until those issues are resolved could be beneficial.

I think life in society throws up far more trials than life in a monastery (not that I've lived in a monastery - I'm guessing). I'm not saying though there isn't a point where you need to go into seclusion to go further but I can imagine that it could be better to "overcome" some of the obstacles life throws up before doing so.

Andy

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Goofaholix
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:18 pm


chownah
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby chownah » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:16 am

Bevoir,
I think that the Buddha taught avoidance as one of the strategies to use to deal with some of the negative things we encounter.......I'm wondering if someone can provide a reference which shows this.....
chownah

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mikenz66
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:20 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:51 am


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ground
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby ground » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:58 am


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Bevoir
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Bevoir » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:35 pm

As I've said, I've never lived in a monastery so I won't truly know unless that happens and I also come to this discussion with baggage from certain other paths but...

You're obviously going to the monastery because it provides advantages versus the lay style of life in following the Theravada path.

I argue that those very advantages stem partly from the avoidance of many of the hastles of every day life. Such as supporting yourself and others and becoming successful. Leading a successful lay life in all aspects of your life can be very difficult as many of us are well aware.

I argue that those very obstacles to leading that type of life could potentially be obstacles in your mind that you will take with you to the monastery where they will not be provoked into arising and thus overcome.

If you take the view that in a monastery ALL obstacles will arise inspite of the circumstances provoking them not being present then fair enough. Or if you take the view that it's not necessary to overcome all mental obstacles and limitations then living in a monastery at whatever stage of life would be advantageous.

However, and I might be wrong on this, I tend to think that it is important to overcome those obstacles and that they won't arise if a you're in a monastery.

For example, if I were to become a hermit and eschew all human contact, and I this was motivated out of my fear of people then I believe no amount of meditation would allow me to overcome that without interacting with people in order to provoke those karmic tendencies.

Having said that, I agree that avoidance is useful in those activities that are too detrimental to spiritual progress.

Life does throw up obstacles. But to varying degrees according to the circumstances.

chownah
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby chownah » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:10 am

Bevoir,
Could it be that you have the opinion that there are a certain number of things which must be accomplished in life and for enlightenment to happen one must conquer these things?....and that these things present themselves as obstructions which we must overcome? That's what I get from reading your posts. I think this idea is mistaken in general and specifically I think that there is nothing in the Buddha's teachings to support that idea. If this were so then I think there would be something somewhere in the Teachings which talked about dealing with these things before becoming a monk or something indicating that lay life needs to be "accomplished" before becoming a monk. Becoming a monk is often described as "going into homelessness"....and is accomplished by just getting a robe and bowl, takings some vows, and then getting on with being a monk and just leaving all that old lay business behind and not looking back. Don't you think that if some kind of resolution of some kind of "life problem" was a good thing that it would at least be mentioned somewhere?
chownah

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Hickersonia
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Hickersonia » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:12 am

Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Bevoir
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Bevoir » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:49 pm

[quote="chownah"]Bevoir,
Could it be that you have the opinion that there are a certain number of things which must be accomplished in life and for enlightenment to happen one must conquer these things?....and that these things present themselves as obstructions which we must overcome?

Hi Chownah, yes that's right. From previous things I learnt it was taught that our live is a reflection of our thinking. The path laid out that it is important to overcome those limitations so we can regain control of our minds rather than the mind being the boss of us. Once we're supposedly in a more dominant position it's easier then to use atma vichara and go all the way.

That's what I get from reading your posts. I think this idea is mistaken in general and specifically I think that there is nothing in the Buddha's teachings to support that idea.

I'm willing to accept that this might be a mistaken view. I'm just arguing the ideas though - debating them to see if there's a reason why a Buddhist would think it's not a valid view.

I think inspite of what you say we have to make our own decisions and judgements in the end and more generally to whether to follow a Buddhist path at all or some other path.

chownah
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby chownah » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:10 am


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Bevoir
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Bevoir » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:36 pm

Hi Chownah

I guess a better way of describing the method I'm familiar with is that it aims to quiet the mind so that the nature of self (self enquiry - atma Vichara) enquired into and realised - That's basically Advaita Vedanta (I believe).

Additionally, that in order to quiet the mind fully, the powerful thought driving desires need to be released. That these desires, (attachments and aversions) are inherently what make up our mental limitations that are present in our life. That if we resided in a monastery these limitations may not be obvious to us.

As you have said though, and as I noted in another thread, there seems to be a notion of ultimate self in Advaita that's perhaps not pressent in Buddhism.

I am learning that Buddhism comes at things from a different angle. Almost not making the assumption self enquiry makes by instead gaining insight into the workings of the mind. I have much more to learn I think.

In terms of "in spite of what you say" comment, sorry if it was confrontational. I guess I meant that I shouldn't take the Buddhas word for it. I realise now you probably didn't mean for me to do that either.

I have the feeling I might be off topic really here :oops:

admiraljim
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby admiraljim » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:28 am

I am no great scholar of buddhism and I don't know any texts well but this discussion brought this quote I once heard to the forefront of my mind. I think it is by Gampopa a 12th century tibetan buddhist monk - 'the superior meditator meditates in the city, the inferior meditator goes on retreat.'
I think lay life presents an opportunity for development that many people overlook, for example we are not going to agree with our children or family members all the time, what a great opportunity to practice metta I think. By placing too much emphasis on renunciation and going on retreat it can be easy to kid ourselves into thinking we have attained a degree of peace but as soon as the retreat ends on a sunday for example, cue nervous breakdown as the work alarm goes off at 8am on monday morning, thinking '**** it! I thought I did so well on retreat infact I thought my hamster became a stream enterer due to my proximity, the great holy being I am!'
what is the point of renouncing if dharma can't be used as a tool to solve our relatively mundane problems. Buddhism doesn't say don't have fun, what it does say(to me anyway) is that it won't last so you should cherish the smiles and good times with family all the more because it might not happen tomorrow - so get real and stop wasting time!

J :group:

chownah
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby chownah » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:48 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:54 am



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